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Showing posts from August, 2010

Heat, Humidity, Building, Canning, Weeding - is it worth it?

This summer will definitely be in my memory banks as a hot, miserable year. People who spend time by the water are likely thrilled to death with all the hot, sunny days, and I'm very glad for them. We are working on various projects here on the farm and the heat and humidity are making life tougher than it needs to be, in my opinion. Darrell is working, primarily alone, but sometimes with my help as needed, on building a new chicken coop. I've been wrestling with the garden, weeding, harvesting, processing, pickling. The kitchen is hot at night when, after supper, I'm processing corn for freezing, or heating the canner and various elements needed to pack jars . . . however, working against time and weather certainly gives you a sense of accomplishment and perspective! We, in our area, don't NEED to do all this - we could go buy whatever we want at a multitude of markets, stores, and specialty shops. Unlike Darrell's grandfather, whose family emigrated to Kansas, sta

Pickling Season!

Pickling cukes and cabbages for slaw and sauerkraut are coming on in the garden. I have packed some sauerkraut, which has to cure for several weeks before canning - hoping to pack some more later this week. It's been years since I made homemade 'kraut, but it sure is good! The process is simple - you shred the cabbage, layering in a little canning salt as you go, let that sit for a couple of hours to draw moisture out of the cabbage. Then, in sterilized jars, you PACK the cabbage in, pressing it down (I use a meat mallet in a wide-mouth canning jar). You fill the jar to the top, pressing as you go, which will force even more liquid out of the cabbage - you will end up with liquid over the top of the cabbage at the neck of the jar. I have done this before, canning the 'kraut after 2 weeks, but many people advise letting it ferment even longer, so I'm going to try that this year. Here's a link to a quite good description of the process . I have found similar instructi